Premier League Preview!

Everything you could ever want to get yourself ready for the season!

Chelsea 

Last season’s finish – Champions (93 points)

Notable transfers:

IN –  Alvaro Morata, Tiemoué Bakayoko, Anthony Rüdiger

OUT – Diego Costa (not out yet, but surely will be soon), Nemanja Matic, Nathan Aké, Juan Cuadrado, John Terry

Total net spending – $20 Mil

What to expect this season:

Antonio Conte’s certainly has his work cut out for him in his second season in charge of Chelsea. Although the team has gotten stronger, the competition this season will be much stiffer than last year’s. I think the most difficult part for this season will be living up to extremely high expectations. Conte had the benefit of coming into a team that greatly underachieved in the previous season, which certainly lowered the pressure on him; he does not have that luxury this year. I think that the concerns about Chelsea’s depth are pretty legitimate concerns, and Conte is certainly trying to fix that, but only time will tell if he will be able to. All in all, it will be a tough season for Chelsea, and I don’t see them having enough to repeat as champions, although I do expect them to stay in the top four.

Tottenham

Last season’s finish – 2nd (86 points)

Notable transfers –

IN – Some new soccer balls

OUT – Federico Fazio, Nabil Bentaleb

Total net spending – $60 Mil

What to expect this season:

What do you do in the transfer window following two consecutive successful seasons in which you were competitive for the Prem title for a majority of the time? Well if you’re Tottenham, sell one of the best fullbacks in the league and sign absolutely nobody, apparently. If and/or when Spurs choose to do so, they should have no trouble bringing in a quality signing or two (rumblings of Ross Barkley and Serge Aurier) given Kyle Walker’s overpriced transfer fee that they currently have sitting in the bank. I think it’s officially safe to say Harry Kane will not fulfill the English striker stereotype of having a good season or two and then falling off the face of the Earth, and Dele Alli is on his way to becoming a world-class player. Despite Walker’s departure, Spurs still have a strong core in tact, but even with some signings, I do not believe they will be able to improve as much as the teams around them have. I expect them to contend for the final Champions League fourth place spot, but do not expect them to finish any higher than that.

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Manchester City 

Last season’s finish – 3rd (78 points)

Notable transfers:

IN Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Danilo.

OUT Kelechi Iheanacho, Nolito, Fernando, Aleksandar Kolarov, Joe Hart (loan), Pablo Zabaleta

Total net spending – $195 million

What to expect this season:

First things first, City have spent an ABSURD amount of money this summer. Like it is legitimately ridiculous how much they have spent, and even more so when you realize Money gifthat it was primarily on fullbacks. What comes with that much spending comes lots of expectations, so the question becomes will they be able to live up to them? In short, maybe. Pep has taken a year, but he finally has his squad put together now. His fullbacks, his goalkeeper, and they certainly have no shortage of talent going forward. I would be ready for a seriously strong push for the title from Man City this year, and if it’s not there, be ready for some changes to be made.

Liverpool

Last season’s finish – 4th (76 points)

Notable transfers –

IN Andrew Roberston, Mohammed Salah

OUT Lucas Leiva

Total net spending – $32 Mil

What to expect this season –

There’s been some (unrealistic) talk of going all in on Kylian M’Bappe. And there’s been some (realistic) talk of losing Coutinho to Barcelona. Although the team has improved under Klopp, they need much more if they wish to contend for the Premier League title. Coutinho has the ability to single-handedly carry this team to a top-4 finish, in my opinion, but he needs some more world-class assistance to help Liverpool make that next push. However, it really doesn’t appear Liverpool will make any season-defining signings by the end of this summer’s transfer window, so we should expect more of the same from them this year, hovering around that 4th place spot again. Don’t get too jealous Arsenal.

Arsenal

Last season’s finish – 5th (75 points)

Notable transfers –

IN – Alexandre Lacazette

OUT – Wojciech Szczesny

Total net spending – $47 Mil

What to expect this season:

Wow. Must be an absolutely exhilarating summer to be an Arsenal fan. Look at that spending. That has to be, like, as much as they’ve spent in the past 5 years. What would you expect after they missed out on their 4th place trophy for the first time in a while? Honestly, as easy as it is to make fun of Arsenal for their somewhat boring transfer history, I think they have done quite well in this window. Lacazette is an extremely good player and will add a lot more going forward for the Gunners this season. Although, I think we all know what is going to happen with Arsenal this year, because it happens every year; strong start, challenge for the title in the first half of the season, collapse around January or February, proceed to battle for a Champions League spot. Luckily we will have the #WengerOut and #WengerIn story lines to dominate every week of the season!

Manchester United

Last season’s finish – 6th (69 lol points)

Notable transfers –

IN Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof

OUT Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Adnan Januzaj

Total net spending – $156 mil

What to expect this season:

Last year was an absolute whirlwind of a season for United that made very little sense. On one hand, they went on an incredible unbeaten run and finished the PL season tied for the second least amount of losses with 5. On the other hand, they finished with a league-leading 15 ties, had 12 less wins than league winners Chelsea, and finished 6th place. Yet they qualified for Champions League. But now it’s time to put last season behind them. Mourinho was given the green light from ownership on yet another huge spending spree, and much like Pep, it appears he officially has his team. Matic, although maybe not Mourinho’s first choice, should provide the defensive stability United need, allowing Pogba much more freedom and less responsibility, a huge reason for his success at Juve. Manchester United can no doubt be PL title contenders this year, but for this to happen, Pogba will need to consistently perform up to his price tag, Lukaku will need to replicate Zlatan’s goal totals, and Mourinho will need to implement a more creative and inspiring style of play.

Everton

Last season’s finish – 7th Place (61 points)

Notable transfers –

IN Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen,  Sandro Ramirez, Cuco Martina, Wayne Rooney

OUT Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deuofeu, Tom Cleverly, Aiden McGeady, Arouna Kone

Total net spending – $10 Mil

What to expect this season:

Well , it’s been a bit of a wild summer for Everton. This is basically a completely new-look Everton squad, most of which comes from losing Lukaku. On that topic, Lukaku was and is a great player and scored a LOT (68 in the Prem) of goals for Everton during his 5 year stint as a blue, but surely Everton knew what they were signing up for when they bought him. Lukaku has long been hyped to be one of the best strikers in the world, and they must have known that he was never going to retire an Everton player. So instead, he was a solid short-term investment that propelled Everton to some of its most successful seasons in recent history, then funded the biggest transfer summer in club history, not too shabby if you ask me. And moving on to the players that are actually coming in, Everton have done a great job with spending that Lukaku cash wisely.  All this while still rumored to be signing one of my personal favorite players, and long time holder of the “coolest name in the Premier League” Gylfi Sigurðsson. Even though Barkley may be out the door, Sigurðsson, Klaassen, and Gueye are more than capable of running a high-standard midfield. And with no shortage of attacking options both out wide and through the middle, look for Everton to push on even further and challenge for a higher finish this season. I think it will be difficult, but this might just be the team to really break into the so-called “big 6”.

Southampton

Last season’s finish – 8th (46 points)

Notable transfers –

In Jan Bednarek, Mario Lemina

Out Jay Rodriguez, Cuco Martina, Martin Caceres

Total Net Spending – $12 Mil

What to expect this season:

It’s become the norm for Southampton to develop good, young talent, sell that talent to a bigger club, and repeat the process. They’re by no means infamous for buying established, star players in their prime. Instead, they rely on a steady balance of young and old. They’ve brought in a new manager in Mauricio Pellegrino fresh off a solid campaign with Spanish side Alaves, and made a huge addition with Mario Lemina. Overall, what you see is usually what you get with Southampton, and so what we’ve seen from them the past few seasons is most likely what we’ll get again. Virgil Van Dijk has been heavily linked to transfer rumors, but in the event he remains, Southampton have a very solid core in Van Dijk, Cedric, Bertrand, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, and Forster. Best case scenario for the Saints is a 7th-place finish and Europa League qualification.

Bournemouth

Last season’s finish – 9th (46 points)

Notable transfers –

In Nathan Aké, Asmir Begovic, Jermaine Defoe

Out None

Total Net Spending – $40 Mil

What to expect this season:

Well if you wanted to see the perfect example of what the transfer market has been this summer, look at Bournemouth. They spent $40 million on two non starters from Chelsea (Jermaine Defoe came in on a free). Don’t get me wrong, I like both signings; Aké is a fantastic player, and Begovic is a well seasoned Premier League veteran goalkeeper, but it seems like a little bit of a stretch to pay $40 million for them. Some perspective on this, Bournemouth were in the English Football League’s bottom division in 2009. Guess how much they spent on transfers that summer? Exactly 0 dollars. A lot can be said about what Bournemouth has been able to do in the last decade, but a 9th place finish last year, and spending $40 million on two players this summer has to make this the biggest year in Bournemouth history. The trouble with this is, I just don’t know if they’re going to reap the rewards of their investment for a higher spot in the table. Eddie Howe is a very good manager, and there is a lot to like about Bournemouth, but I just don’t see them finishing any higher than 9th this year. Last season, 8th and 13th were separated by 2 points. I just don’t see Bournemouth finishing on the good side of that slim a margin again. A lower mid table finish seems most likely for the Cherries.

West Bromwich Albion

Last season’s finish – 10th (45 points)

Notable transfers –

In Jay Rodriguez

Out Darren Fletcher

Total Net Spending – $15 Mil

What to expect this season: West Brom’s marquee signing of the summer, for West Brom standards, was Jay Rodriguez. This is a player who has shown flashes of brilliance when healthy, once notching 15 goals in 33 Premier League appearances for Southampton. He will be expected to step in and play a key role immediately this season. West Brom’s success will also rely a good deal on the productivity of Salomon Rondon, who can dominate opposing defenses, but disappear just as quickly. If, and this is a big if, Rondon can manage to muster up a 15 goal PL season, West Brom definitely has the potential to surprise some people.

West Ham United

Last season’s finish – 11th (45 points)

Notable transfers –

In Marko Arnautovic, Chicharito, Sead Haksabanovic, Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta

Out Ashley Fletcher, Enner Valencia

Total Net Spending – $32 Mil

What to expect this season:

JOE HART ALERT!

Image result for joe hart weird face

Get excited West Ham fans, you get to see that lovely face every game this season! Let’s be honest for a minute here, last season was not far off from a complete disaster for West Ham. A hugely hyped move to Olympic Stadium followed by an 11th place finish with a -17 goal difference. Ouch. That being said, Bilic has done a pretty good job of sorting out his issues this summer. Hart and Zabaleta will help provide some stability to the back, and Arnautovic and Chicharito will provide a much needed scoring edge to the side. I think there are still some question marks in the squad, particularly at center back, and center midfield depth, but this is a pretty strong squad as a whole. Look for a strong resurgence this season from the Hammers, otherwise it will be Slaven Bilic’s weird-looking face on the chopping block. Anything below 9th should be seen as under-performing.

Leicester City 

Last season’s finish – 12th (44 points)

Notable transfers –

In Kelechi Iheanacho, Vincente Iborra, Harry Maguire

Out Ron-Robert Zieler

Total Net Spending – $63.5 Mil

What to expect this season:

Don’t let last season’s finish fool you. This is still a good ass team with a whole lot of talent. Nobody wanted to see Ranieri sacked, but in hindsight it appears to be the right move, as Leicester’s train wreck of a season took a turn when Craig Shakespeare took over. It’s apparent the team is not content with a 12th place finish again. Nobody can replace what Kante brought to the table, but Leicester made a huge step in filling that hole with the addition of Iborra from Sevilla. They’ve also added some excellent attacking depth with the signing of Iheanacho, taking some pressure of Vardy’s shoulders, who struggled to replicate his goal totals from two seasons ago. Meanwhile, Leicester City have also managed to retain the likes of key players in Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Huth, Fuchs, Drinkwater, and Albrighton. It’s difficult to ask Leicester to crack the top 4 once again. Possible? With the quality they have, yes, we’ve seen them do it before. But a top 7 finish and Europa League qualification is the most realistic goal for Leicester City this season.

Stoke City

Last season’s finish – 13th (44 points)

Notable transfers –

In Darren Fletcher, Kurt Zouma (loan from Chelsea), Eric Choupo- Moting

Out Marko Arnautovic, Jonathan Walters, Glenn Whelan, Phil Bardsley

Total Net Spending – $32 Mil

What to expect this season:

Mark Hughes breaking the bank this summer and spending 0 dollars on players coming in after finishing 13th.

Bold Strategy Cotton

Look, Stoke never has been, and probably never will be an exciting team to watch or follow, or do anything with. So this summer has been right on brand for them. Spend no money, buy the world’s most boring, vanilla, center mid in Darren Fletcher, what else did you expect? Choupo- Moting for Arnautovic is a little bit less than an even swap (3 goals and 8 assists for 7 and 6). The only thing Stoke fans could get a little tingly about is Kurt Zouma coming in on loan. Don’t get me wrong, the Potters have some pretty legit players (see: Shaqiri, Bojan, Afellay, Berahino), but my point here is they have not done nearly enough to add to a squad that wasn’t exactly stellar last season. With all the teams around them making significant additions, I think Stoke could be left behind.

Crystal Palace

Last season’s finish – 14th (41 points)

Notable transfers –

In Jairo Riedewald, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Out Steve Mandanda, Mathieu Flamini, Joe Ledley

Total Net Spending – $7 Mil

What to expect this season:

It was the summer of signing young three-name players on loan for Crystal Palace, with the additions of Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. Although these are both solid depth additions for Crystal Palace, they will have more of a positive impact on the players themselves who will gain valuable first team Premier League experience, rather than on CP. Crystal Palace needed to make some big time upgrades after a pretty disappointing season last year, and so far they’ve failed to do so. There’s no doubt they have the ability to score with Benteke and Zaha leading the attack, but with the exception of Cabaye, there’s not too much help behind them. Another bottom half of the table finish should probably be expected from Crystal Palace, and if scoring becomes an issue…hello relegation battle.

Swansea City

Last season’s finish – 15th (41 points)

Notable transfers –

In Roque Mesa

Out Bafeteimbi Gomis, Jack Cork,

Total Net Spending – $1 Mil

What to expect this season:

Paul Clement worked nothing short of a miracle to keep the Swans up last season (RIP in peace Bob Bradley). Let’s be honest, for all the incredible work Clement put in to keeping Swansea above water last season, Gylfi Sigurðsson did just as much. Sigurðsson either scored or assisted on 23 of Swansea’s 45 goals last year. It looks very much like he will be out the door, and although they will get a large chunk of cash for seeing him out the door, Clement will need to replace 23 goals real quick. 22 goals is not enough to keep a team safe from relegation in the Premier League. Obviously they are not just going to lose that production entirely, Llorente became a who everyone expected him to be during the second half of last season, popping in 15 goals, but without the service from Sigurðsson, he will have to do a lot on his own. It is pretty hard to have any concrete prediction for Swansea this season until after the transfer market closes, but if Sigurðsson leaves with no legitimate replacement, I think Swansea could be a real relegation candidate this year.

Burnley

Last season’s finish – 16th (40 points)

Notable transfers –

In Jack Cork, Jonathan Walters, Phil Bardsley, Charlie Taylor

Out Michael Keane, Andre Gray

Total Net Spending – $39 Mil

What to expect this season:

Burnley made some decent additions this transfer window, but nothing to replace what they lost. Michael Keane’s transfer to a better club was inevitable, and Andre Gray, Burnley’s second leading goal scorer last season, is on his way to Watford. They do have some money to play around with after these two sales, so we will see if they make any notable replacement signings before the end of the transfer window. However, these are two tough losses for Burnley and I don’t see them making any significant moves that will greatly change the outlook of this season. On the bright side, it should be an exciting end of the season for Burnley fans, as they watch their team fight to finish outside the bottom 3.

Watford

Last season’s finish – 17th (40 points)

Notable transfers –

In Tom Cleverly, Will Hughes, Nathaniel Chalobah, Kiko Fermenía, Andre Gary

Out Sven Kums, Steven Berghuis, Uche Ugbo

Total Net Spending – $12 Mil

What to expect this season:

Despite finishing just one place above the drop zone last season, Watford were 6 points clear of relegation, so all things considered, that is a somewhat comfortable gap.

Marco Silva - Colin Farrell
Marco Silva (left), Colin Ferrell (right). Look, all I’m saying is I’ve never seen them in the same room.

And again, just like mid-table was extremely tight, this portion of the table from 17th-14th was separated by just 1 point, and 4 points separating 17th from 12th. With this in mind, are these signings enough to propel the Hornets to safety again? Questionable, but I think so. Collin Farrell impersonator Marco Silva proved himself as a very strong manager last season for Hull City, securing 27 of their 34 points managing just over half of the season, although it was ultimately not enough to see the Tigers to safety. He will have his hands full this season, although he made some good additions. Watford have several established Premier League quality players, and of the teams around relegation this year, I have Watford as one of the favorites to stay up.

 

 

 

P.S. Hopefully Chalobah can channel some of his past-Watford form and pop in a few more goals like this.

Newcastle United 

Last season’s finish – 1st in Championship

Notable transfers –

In Jacob Murphy, Florian Lejeune, Christian Atsu, Javier Manquillo, Mikel Merino, Siem De Jong (end of loan), Tim Krul (end of loan), Henri Saivet (end of loan),

Out Florian Thauvin, Yoan Gouffran

Total Net Spending – $25 Mil

What to expect this season:

rafa benitezRafa Benitez lead Newcastle has had a pretty busy transfer window. A very successful club in the past, it was nothing short of an embarrassment for Newcastle playing in the Championship last season. But, here they are again, back where they belong. Don’t expect anything spectacular out of Newcastle this season, but they do have enough talent, and help from the worst best manager of all time, to avoid relegation again.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Last season’s finish – 2nd in Championship (1 pt. behind Newcastle)

Notable transfers –

In Davy Pröpper, Matthew Ryan, Markus Suttner, Pascal Groß, Ales Mateju, Isaih Brown (loan from Chelsea)

Out David Stockdale

Total Net Spending – $34 Mil

What to expect this season:

Okay, I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I know very little about Brighton. I know that they have been Championship contenders for the past few years, losing out in the playoffs a few times, and that they were at one point on top of the Championship last season. Outside of that, I don’t know much. What I do know is that $34 million is a lot of money to spend for a newly promoted team. Pröpper looks like a good signing, scoring 10 and assisting 9 from center midfield for PSV last season. He also brings some Champions League experience to the side. Matthew Ryan comes in from Valencia, although he has made the bulk of his European professional appearances in the Belgian league for Brugge and Genk, but all signs point to him being a strong, young goalkeeper. There are obviously a lot of question marks surrounding the Seagulls, which by the way is a strange nickname for a team, I’m not sure I would enjoy being called a “seagull,” seagulls are pretty damn annoying and serve very little purpose outside of eating thrown out food in parking lots, but I digress. What Brighton does have is the support of most people this Premier League campaign. Everybody loves to cheer for the little guy returning to glory (see: Bournemouth), and many will be pulling for the Seagulls to make their return to the English first tier an extended stay, although I just don’t see that happening.

Seagulls

Come on you Seagulls!!

Huddersfield

Last season’s finish – 5th in Championship

Notable transfers –

In Steve Mounie, Tom Ince, Aaron Mooy, Laurent Depoitre, Scott Malone, Danny Williams, Elias Kachunga

Out N/A

Total Net Spending – $44 Mil

What to expect this season:

A lot of goals against, a few goals for, and quite possibly, relegation.

*****************************************************************************

Show us what you got, 2017/18 Premier League, we’re ready.

Author: Andy Siviy

Co-founder of Cautionable Offense with Ryan LeFrois.

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